Help Your Office Go Green

Turn your office green!

There are many ways to make your home more eco-friendly, from recycling to purchasing Energy Star appliances. We can all do our part to help clean up our planet outside of our home as well. Most of us spend at least 8 hours a day in our office, and yet we usually leave our green practices at home. Buildings and workplaces usually use a large amount of energy and natural resources, so going green at work can make a big difference. With these tips, you can learn how to turn your office into a more eco-friendly space.

Begin your green efforts by making your computers and office equipment more efficient. By using LCD monitors, you can use 70 percent less energy than with older CRT models. Reduce your computer screen brightness and turn off the screen saver, which uses more power than a blank screen. Cut wasted energy by plugging office equipment into power strips with on/off switches and turn the strips off every night. When upgrading your office computers, recycle old computers, and look for Energy Star-certified equipment. Printers, scanners, and other machines that are only used occasionally can be unplugged until they are needed.

Most offices waste a lot of precious paper. In fact, according to the Sierra Club, a single office employee can use 10,000 pieces of paper each year. Cut back on your office’s paper use by using email for inter-office communication, and use online collaboration tools instead of working from printed copies. You can even offer employee training materials and policy manuals online as PDFs instead of print copies. When you do use paper, make sure that you recycle it instead of throwing it away.

You can also save energy and money by reducing your utility usage at the office. Use energy-efficient light bulbs to save power and change over to low-flow faucets and toilets to cut water usage. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) reduce power usage and heat generation, as compared to incandescent bulbs. On weekends and at night, make sure the lights and air conditioner are turned off.

Cut back on office waste by bringing lunch to work in reusable containers; it is the greenest and healthiest way to eat at work. Also, bring in reusable plates, utensils, and napkins. You can establish an eco-friendly kitchen facility with reusable coffee mugs, drinking classes, and silverware. To reduce bottled water waste, make sure that your office has a good source of drinking water. If you go out for lunch, try biking or walking instead of driving.

A greener workplace can mean a smaller ecological footprint, and a healthier place to work. Share these tips with your colleagues so that everyone can get involved with the green process. Ask everyone to bring in a mug or glass from home so that you reduce or eliminate the need for paper or Styrofoam cups.

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